The inhabitants of Darlington still referred to the aged residence on the western hill of the town as “Trelawney House.”

Despite its current state of disrepair, with cracked walls patched up by wooden slats, incomplete roof tiles, and ivy gripping the structure with relentless determination…

It’s difficult to fathom that historical records once hailed it as Darlington’s grandest dwelling.

Within the confines of the aged home resides an elderly woman bearing the Trelawney surname…

She’s so advanced in years that most young town residents lack any recollection of her – Mrs. Cassandra Trelawney, who now dwells alone in “Trelawney House.”

Her demeanor is reclusive, her interactions with the outside world scarce.

The ravages of time have taken their toll on her appearance, to the extent that children cry in fright upon seeing her…

No one in Darlington knows much about Mrs. Trelawney.

Does she have children, and if so, where are they? How has she managed to live alone in that ancient house for so many years at her age?

For the townsfolk, there seems to be no place for such a resident in Darlington.

Even when an event takes place in town, if someone suggests inviting Mrs. Trelawney, it’s swiftly forgotten…

But now, an outsider has arrived in Darlington, seemingly making his way toward the hill where “Trelawney House” stands.

He’s an elderly gentleman.

Unlike most senior citizens who tend to neglect their appearance, this gentleman, despite his advanced years, is impeccably dressed – a black suit, a neatly maintained head of silver-white hair, and a distinguished air…

In a nearby roadside lawn, a group of boys loudly play football.

One particularly energetic kick sends the football hurtling toward the elderly gentleman; it lands squarely on his back…

“Apologies! Sir, are you all right?” A boy rushes over, panting.

Upon picking up the ball and turning to face him, the boy is struck by the elderly gentleman’s gaze.

His body shudders, an inexplicable fear overcoming him.

“Sir…may I…have the ball back…” he stammers.

“Of course!” The momentary haze in the old man’s eyes vanishes, replaced by his former gentleness.

He kindly returns the football and pats the boy’s head affectionately.

“Thank you… Thank you…” The boy appears somewhat relieved, hastily grabbing the ball and scurrying away…

And the elderly gentleman resumes his journey to his destination.

The external appearance of the old house is indeed quite eerie.

The interior environment is even stranger than outsiders might imagine, albeit somewhat disorderly.

Simple, antiquated furniture is neatly arranged in every corner…

A small round table occupies the center of the room, surrounded by a few worn armchairs.

On the table lie scattered quill pens, candlesticks, playing cards, and other peculiar items.

Curtains drawn tight, lights concealed beneath crimson scarves, dimming the room’s illumination so as to remain hidden from Muggles outside.

Despite the stifling midsummer heat, a roaring fire crackles in the fireplace, indicating a pot of tea brewing…

In the darkest corner of the room, a frail elderly woman gazes intently into a glowing crystal ball—

“I foresaw your arrival, Gellert!” Her aged voice echoes faintly.

The visitor, naturally, is none other than the Headmaster of Hogwarts, Gellert Grindelwald.

Given the current circumstances, he appends “actual ruler of the European wizarding world” to his title, perhaps not without justification.

Grindelwald commands immense respect throughout the wizarding world…

What’s particularly intriguing, however, is that this feeble old woman addresses him by name – a rarity among the few who have survived in the wizarding world.

Considering the age and stature of Ms. Cassandra Trelawney, this isn’t entirely surprising.

She is, in fact, a true Seer, a witch possessing the genuine Sight…

In the wizarding world, she is renowned as an extraordinary prophet!

Her age has long surpassed the point of remembrance; she might be a hundred and fifty years old, perhaps even older.

Her great-great-granddaughter, Sybil Trelawney, presently works at the Ministry of Magic’s Department of Mysteries and is already past forty.

Even for a wizard, Cassandra’s life spans the outer limits of possibility.

Few are aware that this true Seer still lives on… Mrs. Cassandra Trelawney has isolated herself in Darlington for countless years, virtually forgotten by the entire wizarding world.

Except, of course, by Grindelwald.

At the end of the last century, when he was but a youth, expelled from Durmstrang and steeped in misfortune, he sought refuge in England with his aunt, Bathilda Bagshot, residing in Godric’s Hollow.

At that juncture, on the cusp of despair…

He first encountered Albus Dumbledore, his aunt’s neighbor, forging an enduring friendship.

It was also during this time that he crossed paths with Mrs. Trelawney, a friend of his aunt and a mentor who would shape his life.

At that point in her life, Cassandra was already a renowned seer in the UK…

Yet upon laying eyes on Grindelwald, she was astounded.

In her words, she had never witnessed such a prodigious talent for prophecy in a child…

Cassandra instructed Grindelwald for approximately three months, during which his astonishing aptitude for learning and tireless diligence left her utterly astonished.

Eventually, she was forced to concede that there was nothing more she could teach him…

However, Grindelwald disagreed with this assessment. For many years, he maintained contact with the most pivotal mentor in his life, exchanging ideas about the future.

In his Chocolate Frog cards, Grindelwald even cited her influence:

“Under Cassandra Trelawney teaching my knowledge of prophecy reached this level.”

“You are naturally aware of my purpose here, my esteemed mentor!” Grindelwald employed a reverential title and a gentle tone.

“I cannot provide you with a definitive answer, Gellert. I am very old, too old…” Cassandra Trelawney replied wearily. “Old enough to await death in this decaying abode. It has been nearly seventy years, and I have not ventured beyond these walls…”

“My aunt, your dear friend, now resides at Hogwarts; she is as aged as you…” Grindelwald countered.

“Bathilda is steeped in nostalgia; she naturally finds solace in your company!” Cassandra responded fatiguedly. “I, however, am different. I see only the future…”

“The future holds more intrigue than the past, for it brims with the unknown.” Grindelwald asserted earnestly.

“Yes, times have indeed changed…” Cassandra remarked nostalgically. “Even in this remote Muggle town, one can discern the shifting tides… Gellert, you embody a particular truth…”

She rose, brushing off imaginary dust from her attire.

“Then do you agree to my proposition?” Grindelwald inquired hopefully.

“Of course…” Cassandra conceded with fatigue. “You refer to me as your mentor, Gellert… How can a mentor refuse the earnest requests of a student…”

“Then I shall await you at Hogwarts, Professor Cassandra…” Grindelwald inclined his head in a respectful farewell.

Just as he prepared to depart…

“Wait a moment!” Mrs. Trelawney interjected once more:

“I have one final piece of wisdom to impart, Gellert.”

“Listen attentively!” Grindelwald nodded with gravitas.

Mrs. Trelawney sat upright in her armchair, her gaze distant and her lips parted.

Her voice adopted an unusual, almost harsh timbre:

“When you believe you have grasped the throat of destiny, it may well be that destiny is, in fact, manipulating you…”

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Published On: December 5, 2023

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